October 7, 2002

Izzy starts to get himself in trouble at the marina.

It was a warm day and the houseboat was musty. I threw open all the windows and began to attack the place with a spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner. At some point I noticed a young woman in cut-off jeans and tank top working on the cabin cruiser tethered next to our houseboat.

I went outside and took a seat in a deck chair. I was just watching her, barely trying to be discreet. This may have been the effect of the all-purpose cleaner fumes.

She had a Mediterranean look, I decided, about the same age as my daughter. I was having a pleasant, middle-aged guy’s daydream when she looked straight at me and smiled.

I waved.

She waved back, enthusiastically.

“I’m Izzy,” I called. “Who are you?”

“Evelyn,” she said. Apparently glad that I cared.

She had a tatoo on her shoulder, I noticed.

“Beneath the unclouded and mild azure sky, upon the fair face of the pleasant sea, waited by the joyous breezes, he floats on and on, till lost in infinite perspectives,” I said.

She seemed amused. “What’s that?” she asked.

“Moby Dick,” I said.

“Say again?”

“You know. The novel. Moby Dick.” I enunciated with an abundance of caution. “The white whale.”

Not sure this made a mark either.

“It’s just some old book I’ve read a bunch of times.”

She didn’t know what to make of this. I headed for firmer ground.

“Is that your boat?”

She laughed. “No. I just clean it.”

“Yeah, me too,” I said, gesturing about the houseboat.

Evelyn seemed ready to resume her boat cleaning, and I figured I couldn’t just sit around on the deck ogling her. I went back inside and plugged away at my tidying up of the in-laws’ mostly forgotten weekend getaway. I stopped only a few times to check up on Evelyn.

Later, he and Henry come across a guy smoking a cigarette in a 1990 Chevrolet Caprice, which makes a decent outdoor planter.

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